Please sign in to post.

Itinerary Help for 3 full days 2 partial days

My young adult daughter and I will be doing a short stopover in Iceland on the way home from Scandinavia in mid July. I'm having trouble figuring out what is realistic to fit into our short time there with partial days on our arrival and departure days.

We fly into Iceland from Norway arriving at 3:50 pm on the 17th. I have a rental car reserved already, and I have an AirBnB apartment in Kopavogur outside Reykjavik booked for 4 nights. This can be changed if necessary, although it was so reasonably priced and nice looking that I'd like to keep it for at least part of the time. We have three full days (18th, 19th, 20th), then we depart Iceland at 7:45 p.m. on the 21st, so we have a fairly big part of that day. We'd like to do a Golden Circle day trip and see the South Coast preferably with an overnight. The Westman Islands also look really interesting, as does Snaefellsnes. We'd like to spend some time in Reykjavik, but that definitely is not the priority, and we'll do either the Blue Lagoon or the Sky Lagoon (which is a short walk from the apartment). We love hiking, but don't feel the need to do any other organized activities like glacier walking or snorkeling or anything like that.

My questions mostly have to do with how to fit in at least the Golden Circle day trip and the South Coast trip with an overnight. Ideally, the South Coast overnight would be at the beginning or end of the trip, allowing us to stay in the apartment for three days straight. Is it a bad idea to stay somewhere on the South Coast before flying out on the 21st? Right now Google Maps says it's about 3 hours from Vik to the airport, but is that realistic? Would it be worth driving out to the South Coast and spending the night there after we fly in if we're getting the car around 4:30 or 5:00 pm? Are there more efficient ways to do this, and possibly to fit in the Westman Islands? Thanks for any ideas!

Posted by
2098 posts

I will start off saying that the hardest part of Iceland is figuring out what to see in a limited amount of time. There is just SO much to see and do! You could easily pick up your rental car and head straight for Vik upon arrival. Yes, it is about 3 hours. Then on the 18th you could head over to Westmann Island for the day, or just head back down along the south coast visiting the various sites, including the golden circle. If you do Westmann for the day, you will want to stay somewhere in the Golden Circle that evening, and then could do the GC in the morning. Westmann is wonderful! The puffins are there, and there is a specific lookout for them on the south end of the island. You can see them up close either early in the morning or late in the evening. If you go for the day, take a late ferry back so you can see the puffins before you leave. The rib boat safari tour at Westmann is also really good! The Eldfell museum is a must. You could easily stay there for the night as well and just take an early morning ferry back and then do the golden circle at that point before heading to your Airbnb. As for Snaefellsness, I would try to include that. If you do, go to Hvammsvik Hot Springs which is on the way, and about 45 minutes north of Reykjavik. It beats Blue and Sky hands down! Far fewer people there too.

Posted by
20 posts

Thank you for the great information, mikliz97! So it sounds like the Golden Circle and South Coast with an overnight are pretty easy to do in that amount of time. I would LOVE to see the puffins in the Westman Islands. Is it possible to rent binoculars somewhere there? If we were to try to fit in Snaefellsnes, it seems like that would need to be a long day trip. Would it be better to do that with a rental car or to take a tour with a company? Thank you!